Posted on 3 Comments

12 Top tips to help you plan the perfect outdoor summer wedding

Outdoor weddings have unique charm! The natural setting is romantic, colorful, refreshing and relaxed. Nonetheless, an outdoor venue also presents its unique set of challenges. Unlike indoor venues, the variable factors are more in this setting. Hence, planning a wedding in the outdoors isn’t always easy.

The good news is that despite the possible pitfalls, you can still have a beautiful outdoor wedding when you plan it right. Our team will help you with this task with the following list of tips. This will definitely help you plan your strategy well and host a splendid outdoor wedding that will linger in everyone’s memories.

1.Research the pros and cons of different venues to make your decision

Your outdoor venue can be a beach, a garden, a resort or even your own backyard. Each of these venues have their own perks and pitfalls. Consider these factors seriously before you decide on the venue you want for your special day. Let us look at some of the common outdoor wedding venues and the challenges they present.

Beach: A beach is romantic and fun. However, it is also windy, sandy and with uneven terrain. You will have to limit your hairstyle, makeup and dress choice to what works in this unique venue. You will also have to rent everything for the wedding and pay extra to set up stage. It will also be necessary to secure different items without toppling over or flying away.

Lakeside: These venues are usually calmer than seashores, and yet promising in terms of beauty. However, lake sides are prone to bugs and have damp and dirty soil. They can become unexpectedly windy. You may have to prepare your party to wear bug spray and keep food covered to avoid unexpected disasters.

Winery: Unparalleled beauty, serenity and greenery mark this lovely wedding venue. However, there may be restrictions on custom plans. Many wineries restrict taking booze from outside, and your guests will have to make do with their produce at the bar. It can also become hot and humid in summer.

Park:Very casual and relaxed, this ambiance is well-suited for informal wedding styles. The cons of this venue is that you may have unwelcome onlookers who oversee your wedding. Also, there may be time restrictions. So, you may have to end your party early.

Backyard: Having a backyard wedding is often tougher than you think. You can of course save a lot of money, since you needn’t book a venue. Nevertheless, you will have to hire the décor and seats. Limited number of washroom facilities can be a problem. You will also have to take local rules and regulations into consideration when your house is in a residential locality.

If you still are unsure of which venue you ought to choose, here is some help to make your decision on the Huff Post 

2.Irrespective of the venue, you must have plenty of shade or arrange for tents to keep guests comfortable

It is no fun being seated in a sunny area, especially when it is warm. Make sure your venue has a shaded space where your guests can relax without any harsh sunlight. Summer weddings can often get tiring, especially if there is no breeze. So, arrange for fans around the perimeter of the tents to keep your guests cool and relaxed. Also consider printing your wedding program on fans to work double. Or gift pretty decorative hand fans as your wedding favors and your guests can use them to stay cool.

3.Ensure there are plenty of drinks to stay hydrated

In the warm outdoors, your guests will naturally feel thirsty. Provide plenty of beverages and water stations to quench their thirst. Set it up at different locations throughout the venue, so your guests can simply head over to the nearest spot and refresh themselves. Arrange for a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Flavored water, fresh juices and mocktails, fizzy drinks and local produce can all be highlighted in your wedding venue. For a stunning list of summer cocktails to stock your bar, visit this post on the Brides website

4.Pick sturdy floral décor or arrange them outdoors just before the function

Flowers, especially the delicate varieties, do not tolerate heat well. So, take special care when planning your floral décor, bridal and bridesmaids bouquets. Pick sturdy flowers that do not wilt quickly. Preferably pick what is in season, as these flowers tolerate natural weather conditions better. Have your floral décor set up just before guests arrive, so they look fresh during the ceremony and reception. You can also add fruits and berries to the arrangement for a tropical, summery feel. Other decorative items like candles and embellished figurines are good options for centerpieces and decor items, since they are unaffected by heat.

5.Have everything held down in place

When the wedding is outdoors, you have no control over how windy it can get. The last thing you want is for things to be blown away and the entire scene to look chaotic. Keep this factor in mind when planning the arrangements. Ensure everything stays put by weighing it down with suitable items. Use ribbons or rocks to secure items like place cards and wedding programs in its place. Also keep the table cloth and runner fresh by taping them down so they do not fly with with the wind.

6.Plan your menu wisely

Exercise caution when planning the menu for an outdoor wedding. Heat will quickly spoil food, and you do not want to be responsible for making your guests sick. Catering outdoors also presents unique challenges. Frozen desserts like ice cream are not practical, as they will melt in the heat. Since you cannot control the temperature, it is wise to choose fail-safe food options. Your catering team should be able to confidently handle and distribute the items on the menu on time. Here are some tips to help you plan the food menu right.

  • Avoid serving cheeses, sea food and meat in the open. These items should be served and consumed quickly to avoid spoilage.
  • Use dairy products like cream sparingly in your dishes. Not only do these spoil quickly, their consistency may also be unpredictable when kept outdoors for a while.
  • Ensure all the dishes are covered once they are kept outdoors. Leaving any of them open is an invitation for bugs, ants and flies to attack.

7.Help your guests stay cool and safe

Make sure the site is visually inspected prior to the ceremony, to ensure it is clean and there are no insects or flies in the area. Since you can never be too careful, have some bug spray ready in case someone needs it during the day. In case your guests forget to wear sunscreen, it is a good idea to have that available as well. You do not want anyone falling ill at your wedding, or enduring sun burn. Simply place bottles of sunscreen in baskets at the venue, if your guests will be spending a long time outdoors. Also, make sure that you do not pick metallic chairs for the seating. This can get pretty warm and you do not want your guests to suffer on account of it.

8.Have an indoor location for them to chill in, if necessary

Not everyone can continuously tolerate a hot outdoor setting for a long time. So, your guests will appreciate a chance to relax in an indoor area, if it gets too hot. This is especially true if there are pregnant women or older guests in your party. This can be a smaller hall or lobby area that they can access. If your venue doesn’t have such a provision, consider hiring an A/C unit to or large portable fan for them to sit around and relax, if they find the heat too stifling.

9.Have a back-up plan

Unlike an indoor venue, you can never rule out natural emergencies that can affect your plans. It could be something as big as a hurricane, a torrential downpour or even a small shower. Prepare for such conditions with an alternate plan. It is best if there is an indoor location to move into in such situations. If the weather forecast on the day of your wedding isn’t promising, make your call early and move the ceremony indoors rather than risk your guests getting drenched. The staff at your wedding should also be able to quickly move your wedding tables and other decor items into the secured area, should the need arise. Always arrange for umbrellas or raincoats for your guests, should it suddenly rain. Even it is just a drizzle, your guests shouldn’t have to wait till they dry off. So, arrange for fluffy towels in the restrooms it showers.

10.Find out about licenses, permits and rules for outdoor events prior to the wedding

When planning your wedding, you should  aspects into examine the licenses and permits for the location. There may be a time limit imposed on the use of outdoor venues. Ensure your party winds up before this timeline. Also check with the local authorities on whether you need a permit or license to hold a wedding at your chosen venue. If your venue is in a residential locality, there may be regulations on sound, parking and trash dumping. Make sure you are aware of all these restrictions and do not break any rules on your wedding day.

11.Use plenty of signage all over the venue

At outdoor venues, guests may find it confusing to find their way from one point to another. Save them the trouble by implementing plenty of direction signs all over the venue. Print them and set it up at different positions. Or simply do them in chalkboard and push the boards into the ground or hang them on trees. Use plenty of signs to direct guests to rest rooms and trash cans. You can also rent carpets to separate off the areas of the wedding from the rest of the area.

12.Make the most of seasonal fare

Every area will have its own refreshing produce, and this is what you should indulge in at your wedding. From the décor to the menu, flowers and gifts, let the season dictate your choice. Use fresh potted plants for your natural décor and even consider them for your wedding favors. Include seasonal produce in your salads, dressings, sauces and juices and your guests will love the taste. Use fresh fruits and flowers in your wedding cake and keep it simple for best results. Decorate with seasonal berries, flowers and fruits to create striking masterpieces that will tolerate the weather and look fresh all day long. Embrace the quality of the season, and your outdoor wedding will be a huge hit with your guests.

Summer weddings also give brides the perfect opportunity to explore a wide range of options in wedding fashion. From short wedding dresses to light, airy fabric choices, there are plenty of options available at Best for Bride for outdoor weddings. Here are just a few to inspire you with.

6867 Mori Lee

 

6861 Mori Lee

 

8191 Mori Lee

8177 Mori Lee

So, tell us which of these styles will you be embracing at your wedding? To take a closer look at these gowns as well as to explore more of our summer wedding dress collections, visit our bridal dress gallery at Best for Bride.

Posted on 5 Comments

Pros and Cons of different wedding venues

The overall impact of your wedding depends on the venue you pick. This is because your choice of location affects the theme, décor, lighting and other aspects of your wedding. It even affects your dress decision to a great extent. Hence, the venue decision isn’t one to take lightly. In fact, it is one of the first wedding planning decisions that every couple should make.

From indoor venues like barns, banquet halls and castles to outdoor venues like beaches and gardens, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, there are so many factors to consider when choosing your wedding venue. These include the following

  • Your budget
  • Expected number of guests
  • Accessibilty of location
  • Desired wedding theme
  • Style of wedding
  • Weather at the time of wedding

While these factors are important, this list isn’t exhaustive. There are many more aspects that you have to consider when choosing the venue.

Don’t worry if you are confused or overwhelmed by this. Fortunately, we have an easy way to help you narrow down your choices to the right type of venue for your wedding!

Take a look at our list of pros and cons for the different venue types. This will help you weigh each option against the others and eliminate or short-list the suggested venue type. This should allow you to recognize the best venue for your situation. So, let us take a look at the most popular venue types one by one.

Hotels/Banquet halls

Hotels and resorts are very popular wedding locations, since these venues are equipped to deal with events of this scale. They also have facilities for accommodation and food, which is great if you have a number of outstation guests. Here are the pros and cons of choosing a hotel or resort as your wedding venue.

Pros:

  • Staff have experience hosting events of this scale. As a result, most of the day will progress smoothly.
  • On-site caterers make menu planning a breeze. You needn’t worry about the logistics of transporting food from another location, setting it up or the service.
  • The venue is guaranteed to have great interiors and classy décor to match. You can enhance it with your own choice of decorations.
  • You do not have to worry about parking, seating or bathroom facilities on-site.
  • They have rooms that you can use to get dressed at. Saves you the trouble of traveling to the venue after getting dressed at home or at another location.

Cons:

  • Most hotels offer standard packages, and you may have limited flexibility or have to spend extra to alter things to your exact liking.

  • You may have to use the hotel’s vendors and entertainment for the occasion. This may limit your options and you may not be allowed to bring in food or liquor from outside.

  • Hotels are quite expensive, as you have to go with the packages they have.

  • Good hotels are booked quickly, and since most of them host only one wedding per day you may have to make your decision very early.

For more insight on whether a hotel is the right venue for your wedding, take a look at this article on Easy Weddings. 

Country Club/Garden venue

Many country clubs have options for both indoor and outdoor events, allowing you to enjoy the best of both. There is also a romantic and serene charm to such settings. Here are the pros and cons of picking such venues for your wedding.

Pros:

  • They have ample space to accommodate a large guest count. They will also have shaded outdoor seating spaces, cozy indoor relaxing spaces and picturesque locations.

  • You have the flexibility of using both indoor and outdoor spaces. So, you can have your ceremony in their grounds, and the reception indoors.

  • The food is usually amazing at country clubs. They may also allow you to bring in your own caterer or baker, on prior agreement.

  • Country clubs usually have well-maintained grounds, garden spaces and beautiful indoor décor that allow for amazing photographs.

Cons:

  • The venue is usually expensive. Also some country clubs require you to have a membership to avail of the facilities. You will have to consider this factor when choosing this venue.

  • Since country clubs have a number of event spaces, yours may not be the only event on the day. This means there may be outsiders sharing the same space and amenities.

Beach

The beach is a top wedding destination for couples who want a relaxed, intimate and memorable wedding. From beaches that are close to home to those in the exotic tropics, couples flock to beaches for the unique ambiance they provide. Here is what you should know before you have your wedding at such a location.

Pros:

  • Unmatched ambiance and unique feel of the outdoors. Romantic and exciting venue that is interesting and makes for amazing memories

  • Destination beach weddings allow you to tailor your wedding to a fixed budget and invite only those you really want at your wedding

  • Setting allows you to choose comfortable and casual attire, if you aren’t fond of traditional wedding gowns.

  • Amazing wedding photos are guaranteed, since the venue will be bathed in natural light and is fun

Cons:

  • You need a Plan B in case the weather throws up unwanted surprises like heavy winds or a drizzle.

  • Destination beach weddings aren’t easy since you will be making long-distance plans and can’t oversee every detail.

  • Unless it is a private beach, outsiders may invade your wedding venue and be in your photos.

More details of what you should remember when planning a beach wedding are available in this article. 

Church/House of Worship

If faith plays an important part in your life, you may choose to have your wedding ceremony at a church or house of worship. This traditional venue comes with its own benefits and disadvantages. Let us look at what they are.

Pros:

  • The venue is magnificent and lends an air of grandeur and style to your wedding.

  • Suitable for classic wedding themes and allows you to dress traditionally

  • There is an organized approach and the various events on the day progress as per tradition. The expected nature of these rituals eliminates confusion.

  • Weddings in a house of worship usually cost less than other venues

Cons:

  • There are usually restrictions on the dressing for a wedding. You may have to cover your shoulders, which means you can’t pick a strapless gown unless you cover it up with a suitable accessory.

  • You will have to find another location for the reception. This means your guests will have to travel from the first venue to the second. This will involve time and more planning.

  • Your photography options will be limited in a church. Make sure your photographer has the required equipment to capture the photos with clarity during the ceremony.

Museum/art gallery/Castle

Steeped in history, museums and art galleries offer a unique ambiance for a wedding. The very location makes the occasion memorable and it is less traditional. Here are the pros and cons to selecting this venue for your special day.

Pros:

  • Since these venues aren’t common choices, it offers a unique and interesting touch to your wedding

  • It allows you to paint a picture of your personal taste and likes, making your wedding very personal.

  • Suitable for smaller gatherings due to space constraints. This makes the wedding cosy and intimate.

Cons:

  • Since these venues aren’t ideally meant to host such events, you will have to put in more effort to plan the event appropriately

  • Space constraints mean limiting your guest count to how many people can fit in the venue comfortably.

  • You will have to work with the existing décor and choose decorations that do not clash with the aesthetics of the place

  • The specialized art and fragile items in the setting require your guests to be careful with how they use the space.

  • You will have to find suitable outside vendors for the décor, food and other arrangements.

Reception Halls/Banquet Halls

Whether attached to a hotel or not, reception halls allow you to get your creative juices flowing and plan a wedding that is uniquely you. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this choice.

Pros:

  • Unless attached to a hotel or resort, there is little to no décor at the location. This means you can work with the colors and elements of your choice to create a wedding day that reflects your tastes to the smallest detail

  • You can plan the entire setting to fit your budget. This gives immense flexibility.

  • It is a good space to host a reception following a wedding in a house of worship.

  • You can make the space work for your desired guest count by arranging the seating and other details suitably.

Cons:

  • The entire bulk of planning is on you. Since there is little to no existing décor, you will have to work hard on getting the theme and aesthetics right to match your vision.

  • Unless attached to a hotel, you will have to rent all the required equipment for setting up the arrangement.

  • You will have to find outside vendors for the food, decorations and all other aspects of the wedding.

  • Chances are that your guests have already been to the reception hall, if they are all from the community. Hence it will be challenging to create a setting that is different and provide an experience that isn’t similar to what they have experienced before.

Backyard

Having an intimate wedding in your own home is unlike weddings at any other venue. As romantic and charming as it is, it comes with a unique set of challenges. Let us explore what they are.

Pros:

  • Backyard weddings are intimate and relaxed. Your guests will feel at home and settle in easily

  • This is a venue that you have total control over. You can begin prepping it for the wedding much earlier than you have to with any other venue.

  • It is a great way to save on venue expenses, which usually account for a great part of the wedding budget.

  • You can personalize the venue to the smallest detail, since you do not have to obtain any permissions or pay attention to limitations where this is concerned.

  • You can plan a very unique wedding, by choosing the décor, food and ambiance you want for the event.

Cons:

  • Unless you have plenty of space, you will have to limit your guest count to how many people the space can host comfortably.

  • You will have to rent seating, install additional lighting and set up the place with all the factors that may not be readily available at home. For instance, you may have to set up outdoor portable washroom facilities since you may not have enough facilities for your guests otherwise.

  • You will have to worry about parking space and also check the locale’s concessions on noise and traffic. Your neighbors may not be thrilled about all the commotion if your plans don’t align with the regulations.

  • Since you will be living on-site till the wedding day, it will be under use and more difficult to get it ready. You will have to worry about how the place looks and plan everything in time, so it looks picturesque for your wedding day.

For more backyard wedding advice, take a look at this fantastic article on the Bridal Guide. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, every wedding venue comes with its unique set of challenges. At the same time, it also has its own unique benefits. With creativity, good organization and proper planning, it is possible to transform any venue into your dream wedding destination. So, tell us which wedding venue will you prefer for your special day?

For wedding dresses for any venue, whether it is a castle, museum, beach or hotel, visit us at Best for Bride. We will help you find the right dress for your venue, so you can be a bride who belongs in the setting!